Why GAP-Certified Pet Food Is Better for Your Pet—and the Planet

Last Update: September 27, 2022

Pet parents know how quickly hypoallergenic shampoo, eco-friendly toys, and tasty treats become non-negotiable necessities in the quest to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy. But being a responsible owner doesn’t stop there. Today, we’re sharing one more step you can take to make an even bigger impact on the wellbeing of all animals: choosing pet food that’s GAP Certified.

GAP stands for Global Animal Partnership, and it’s one of the largest animal welfare standards and labeling organizations in North America. Each year, more than 416 million animals are impacted through the third-party certification of more than 3,800 farms. In 2014, one brand became the first-ever GAP Certified, humanely raised pet food line, and today we’re sharing why this matters for you, your pet, and the planet.

Meet Tender & True

Tender & True doesn’t just focus on the well-being of your pet, but of all animals. “We truly believe that each and every animal deserves the best possible, including farm animals and oceanic life,” says COO Theresa Sabaliauskas. That means sourcing humanely-raised and environmentally sustainable ingredients—always. The brand relies on the third-party auditors through programs like GAP and Marine Stewardship Council (more on that below) to verify that farmers and fisheries are always compliant with strict welfare standards, and because of its commitment to sourcing, Tender & True became the first ever USDA Organic Certified, humanely raised, and antibiotic-free pet food in 2014.

“We truly believe that each and every animal deserves the best possible, including farm animals and oceanic life.”

What Makes Tender & True Certifiably Better


Every product in the Tender & True line holds at least one certification, which Sabaliauskas notes serve as “an extra body auditing farms and fisheries to ensure that we truly are sourcing the best ingredients possible.” Here’s a closer look at what the certifications mean for you and your pets.

Global Animal Partnership (GAP)

In 2014, Tender & True became the first GAP Certified pet food brand. While some brands have single products with GAP Certified ingredients, Tender & True remains the only full line of GAP Certified products today.

USDA Organic

Also in 2014, Tender & True became the first USDA Certified Organic brand offering a fully organic pet food option from farm to bowl. Whether you choose cat or dog food, the entire line uses ingredients raised without antibiotics.

Marine Stewardship Council

In 2015, Tender & True partnered with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to ensure its fish is always sustainably sourced.

Non-GMO Project Verified

In 2019, Tender & True’s popular jerky treats received Non-GMO Project Verified certification, one of the most trusted stamps of approval for avoiding genetically modified organisms.

Meet Your Pet’s New Favorite Food

In recent years, animal lovers have demanded more transparency from brands, and pet food trends have included an interest in organic and grain-free food options. Tender & True always has a pulse on its community, which is part of the reason it launched a USDA Certified Organic kibble. “We formulate our recipes knowing we want to offer the best nutrition and highest quality possible for pet parents to offer their pets. There’s truly a peace of mind that comes with knowing fish has been wild-caught and not negatively impacting the population of that species, or knowing that farm animals in our food have been raised without cages, and with ample amount of room,” Sabaliauskas says.

Organic Turkey & Liver Dry Dog Food

Organic turkey is the first ingredient in this USDA Certified Organic kibble, which happens to be the only dry organic turkey recipe on the market. To bolster nutrition, Tender & True adds chickpeas, flaxseed meal, pea flour, and fish oil to the grain-free recipe your dog will devour.

“Our dog loves this brand of dog food. It’s nice to know that our pet is also getting quality organic food. We highly recommend this product!”
—Wayne from Minn.

Organic Turkey & Liver Dry Cat Food

Picky cats will purr for another bowl of this organic turkey and liver kibble. Each batch is made with organic dried peas, chickpeas, and flaxseed meal for added nutrition, and the recipe is grain-free, soy-free, and wheat-free for easier digestion.

“My cat loves it!! He’s sensitive so it is hard to find a brand that has great ingredients and keeps him feeling happy and energetic.”
—Aimee from Md.

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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